On The Waterfront

A short history of New York City’s various Titanic memorials

The South Street Seaport is the home for a great many nautical treasures. It’s also the location of a memorial to nautical tragedy. The Titanic Memorial, a 60-foot white lighthouse, sits in the little plaza at Fulton and Water Streets. This was no mere decorative lighthouse as it seems today. For much of its history,… Read More

American History

Castle Clinton: New York’s Most Underappreciated Landmark (NPS 100)

This month America celebrates the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, the organization which protects the great natural and historical treasures of the United States. There are a number of NPS locations in the five borough areas. Throughout the next few weeks, we will focus on a few of our favorites.   For more information,… Read More

Parks and Recreation

Ten Images of Bowling Green and Ten Facts about its Marvelous History

Bowling Green, at the very tip of Manhattan island, is a small oval park so calm in comparison to its surroundings that it’s hard to believe this is one of the oldest sections of the city of New York.   Here are ten facts about Bowling Green, accompanied by ten images and photographs from various periods in… Read More

George Bellows at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: A must-see rumination on New York City’s abrasive beauty

George Bellows: RetrospectiveMetropolitan Museum of ArtNovember 15, 2012-February 18, 2012 George Bellows was a member of the Ashcan School, the New York-centered realist art movement of the early 20th century. The so-called ‘Apostles of Ugliness’ — at least, according to critics — included John Sloan, Robert Henri and eventually Edward Hopper. Even the photography of Jacob… Read More

Clowns at Lincoln Center! the Big Apple Circus returns

The Big Apple Circus is probably the only show featuring acrobatic dogs and European clowns ever to play Lincoln Center. Well, play next to Lincoln Center. P.T. Barnum made his name in New York with his American Museum and a host of publicity stunts, but his world-famous circus actually originated elsewhere. However, the Big Apple… Read More

Spawn of the Statue of Liberty

You know an area of New York has achieved tourist saturation when the first ten people you see are all identically dressed as the Statue of Liberty. Performance artists regularly delight audiences near the city’s marquee tourist attractions — South Street Seaport, Central Park, Times Square. Most are truly worthy of the attention: the charismatic… Read More


PODCAST: Life in British New York: 1776-1783

Join us as we stroll through the streets of revolutionary New York, examining what it would have been like to be a New Yorker under British rule. Listen to it HERE: New York as it looked during British occupation (i.e. before various lower Manhattan landfills!) The HMS Jersey, docked right off the show of Brooklyn,… Read More

Jenny Lind sings again

It’s been over 150 years since ‘Swedish Nightingale’ Jenny Lind’s now-legendary concert performance at Castle Garden in September 11, 1850. (Listen to last week’s podcast for the full scoop.) But visitors to Battery Park on their way to the Statue of Liberty and elsewhere can catch a glimpse of a curious tribute to the songstress.… Read More


PODCAST: Battery Park and Castle Clinton

Take a stroll through southern Manhattan’s Battery Park and Castle Clinton. Listen to it for free on iTunes or other podcasting services. Or you can download or listen to it HERE A famous depiction in its own right, this is of Jenny Lind inside the Castle Garden auditorium: Castle Clinton as Emigrant Depot Castle Clinton… Read More

More Robert Moses shenanigans!

We really shouldn’t demonize Robert Moses as we do — he did give the city so many marvelous things — but you hear about one of his schemes that almost came to fruition and you just want to cry. This time around, I’m referring to the Brooklyn-Battery Bridge, a potential catastrophic project Moses cooked up… Read More

Much delayed makeover for Pier A

Say it isn’t so! According to Gothamist, the city has finally decided to do something about Pier A in Battery Park, that beautiful, jutting bit of nostalgia sitting negligent just feet from the water taxis to the Statue of Liberty. Its not difficult to picture the pier as it once was, and as it could… Read More

No more battery for downtown’s green ferry

(Battery Maritime, from the back) That precious jade little music box with a copper top sitting next to the brand spanking new Staten Island Ferry terminal is about to get yet another makeover. The Battery Maritime building, now landmarked, has probably been one of downtown Manhattan’s most mistreated buildings. There are probably a few reasons… Read More